Watch any Matthew Stafford press conference over the past decade and you’ll see the Detroit Lions quarterback is just as much polished off the field as he is on it. He ducks controversy and is the master of the art of saying nothing while appearing to say everything.
Just take a moment from Tuesday. For the second or third time this offseason, someone asked him about the status of his back—an injury he had to deal most of last year and some speculate he may still be dealing with.
Before the reporter could even finish his question, he fired six words at him like one of his patented fastballs.
“I feel great. I feel good.”
Headline averted. Next question.
It’s been that way his entire career, whether he’s talking about a play on the football field or what he does on his days off. He is, essentially, a stranger to the fans of the franchise he has defined for the past decade.
So when Stafford steps out of his shell a little bit, it’s significant news. He did as much with Kevin Clark of The Ringer in this fantastic interview.
Topics ranged from his back injury last year (“he seriously considered missing a game”), to his off-field personality (“I like Judd Apatow comedies”) to his future in the NFL (“I want to play as long as I can without sacrificing too much of my health in the long run. I love this game, and I want to play it for a long time.”)
Clark also interviews some former teammates and coaches to get their impressions of Stafford as a person, a player and a leader. I don’t want to give too much of it away, so you should just head over to The Ringer and read it yourself.